Smart kitchen cabinets that take centre stage

Is your kitchen in need of an update? Homes & Gardens picks out 10 cabinet collections that will give your kitchen an instant lift. For more inspiring ideas, visit

Kitchen cabinets are the focal point of any kitchen design. Discover innovative cabinetry to fit your individual style and space.

1/10 Kitchen cabinet ideas

contemporary kitchen with dark wooden units and marble worktops

(Image credit: Future PLC/Mark Bolton)

Think about having custom-made furniture built. A bespoke kitchen is made to fit your home, your style and the way you like to cook, relax and entertain. While made-to-measure isn't a budget option, it will certainly add to the value of your home and last a very long time. If you are after a contemporary look, opt for handleless units and fully integrated appliances. Keep the feel practical, cool and relaxed by paying attention to symmetry and simplicity of design. Inject rustic style into your kitchen with painted wooden cabinetry. In a traditional space, use painted wood to co-ordinate kitchen cabinets with walls and architectural features. If you prefer modern kitchen, choose hi-gloss cabinetry for a sleek appearance, while stainless steel will give your kitchen a professional aesthetic. If you have an awkward shape, think about a few cleverly designed units. Alternatively, freestanding cabinetry is a great option as it can be moved around, in or out to alter the layout.

Contemporary kitchen with dark wooden units and marble worktops

The rich grain of the marble flooring and worktops echo the wooden cabinetry in this deceptively simple kitchen, adding depth and interest to the scheme. Pairing the units with white walls draws attention to the deep chocolate-brown colour and texture of the wood, while keeping the look crisp and fresh. Bright green apples and freshly-cut flowers brighten the scheme with a pop of zingy colour, which is softened by the rustic dining table.

Kitchen units

2/10 Cosy kitchen-diner with white-painted panelling

kitchen with white painted panelling and arm chair

(Image credit: Future PLC /Mark Luscombe-Whyte)

Wood-panelled cabinets to match the ceiling, floor and walls have been painted glossy white for a colonial feel in this spacious kitchen-diner.  A sleek black worktop adds an elegant note to the scheme that benefits from plentiful natural light. Keeping to a monochrome palette allows the verdant garden beyond the windows to pop inside the room, while the addition of a single curtain with a theatrical holdback frames the door for a sense of drama.

Dining chair
Riviera Maison
Pendant lights
Jim Lawrence

3/10 Glossy white contemporary kitchen with large kitchen island

contemporary kitchen with hanging light and stainless steel bar stool

(Image credit: Future PLC /Rowland Roques OÂ’Neill)

Depending of the shape and size of your kitchen, consider freeing-up your wall space by opting for a multi-tasking island. Here, generous drawers are big enough to store a multitude of pots and pans, while handle-free cabinetry provides a sleek finish to the contemporary scheme. Stainless steel bar stools echo the silver trim on the island, and the industrial-style extractor fan unifies the look.

Bar stools

The Conran Shop
Similar pendant
The Conran Shop

4/10 Classic kichen with extra-tall overhead cupboards

kitchen with cupboard and pink towel

(Image credit: Future PLC /Mark Bolton)

If you are lucky enough to have floor-to-ceiling windows, consider emphasising your cabinets by painting them a slightly darker hue than the rest of your kitchen. The smoky-grey colour of the overhead cabinets in this spacious room helps draw attention to their lofty proportions, while the stone feature wall and range cooker in the centre break up the look for a pleasing sense of symmetry. Smatterings of antique furniture and accessories complement the traditional feel of the scheme.

Plain English
Limestone flooring

5/10 Elegant kitchen with double-height wall units

room with black dining table stool and black coloured double height cabinet

(Image credit: Future PLC /Ben Anders)

Roomy double-height cabinets have been painted black for a dramatic effect in this contemporary kitchen. Flanked by shelves of books accessed by a library ladder, the unit is a masterclass in combining form and function. A black dining table and matching stools unify the look, which is softened by creamy panelling on the walls and a unit concealing the sink and cooking area.

Cochrane Design

6/10 Contemporary kitchen with neat wooden units and wooden window louvres

contemporary kitchen with wooden cabinet and wooden window louvre

(Image credit: Future PLC \Alicia Taylor)

A neutral palette of cream and brown allows the wooden cabinets in this kitchen to take centre stage. In a pared-back scheme such as this, wooden louvres provide a smart and elegant solution to ventilation, while the gleaming glass splashback lifts the look with touch of glamour. A large bowl filled with brightly-coloured fruit is a simple-but-effective way to introduce colour to the scheme.

Mark Plant

7/10 Streamlined contemporary kitchen with sleek glossy units

room with sleek glossy unit wooden flooring and metal tap

(Image credit: Future PLC /David Cleveland)

A neutral palette of greys and soft browns draws attention to the sleek cream cabinets in this compact kitchen. By keeping the units as simple as possible the original details of the room, like the ornate cornicing, are also allowed to shine, while the glossy finish adds a touch of glamour to the minimalist scheme.

Dickinson Woodworks

8/10 Country-style galley kitchen with open shelves

kitchen room with open shelve crockery and black worktop

(Image credit: Future PLC /Mark Luscombe-Whyte)

If you want create a sense of space in your kitchen, consider choosing shelving as a more versatile alternative to bulky overhead cabinets. Here, a wall of shelves adds a quirky touch to this country-style galley kitchen and draws attention to the painted cabinets and range cooker underneath. A black worktop grounds the look, while pretty crockery and silverware add a decorative flourish.

Similar kitchen
Martin Moor & Company
Bespoke lights
Jim Lawrence

9/10 Classic kitchen-diner with triple-fronted display cabinet

kitchen room with wooden dining table chair and glass cabinet

(Image credit: Future PLC /Emma Lewis)

If you are lucky enough to have plenty of space in your kitchen, displaying your glassware and crockery inside a glass-fronted cabinet is an easy way to add interest to the scheme. Here, a wall of pale grey cabinets takes centre stage, echoing the design of the French windows and reflecting the garden beyond. The glassy theme is continued with a collection of Moroccan-inspired pendant lights, finishing the scheme with an exotic flourish.

Bespoke kitchen

Higham Furniture
Star pendants

10/10 Contemporary kitchen with sleek integrated units

contemporary kitchen with sleek unit and fan extractor

(Image credit: TBC)

Clean lines and minimalist finishes are the hallmark of this contemporary kitchen. The sleek cabinets are deep and wide in a bid to conceal kitchen clutter, while the glossy surfaces reflect the architectural features elsewhere in the space. A simple motif in the carpet echoes a similar design on the cooker and extractor fan, adding interest to the fuss-free scheme.

Similar kitchen


Thea Babington-Stitt
Assistant Editor

Thea Babington-Stitt is the Assistant Editor for Ideal Home. Thea has been working across some of the UK’s leading interiors titles for nearly 10 years. 

She started working on these magazines and websites after graduating from City University London with a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Before moving to Ideal Home, Thea was News and Features Editor at Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc and Country Homes & Interiors.